As the Union Public Service Commission declared its CSE 2022 final results recently, it was heartening to see the list of successful candidates from Odisha. There are nine from the state in the top 100, a figure that had not been seen in a long time. It was also wonderful to see women securing the top four ranks, apart from taking six out of the top 10 positions and 14 out of top 25. As they accounted for more than a third of the total number of candidates who cleared the incredibly competitive examination, this year marked the highest ever number of women selected for the civil services.

Be it women or men, for those who really wish to serve the country, there is perhaps no better time than now to join the civil services. With a new and much improved India in the making, they will be an integral part of the massive success story that is being scripted under the bold and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Undeniable signs of India’s ever-rising global stature and goodwill came to the fore during Prime Minister Modi’s recent three-nation tour to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Whether it be during the Prime Minister’s interactions at the G7 summit and the QUAD meeting in Hiroshima, where he spoke to many world leaders on peace and environmental sustainability, as well as food and energy security – while US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese showered high praise on him for his immense popularity in their respective countries and his impact on climate change.

Or it be the way Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape touched his feet upon his arrival in the island country, before hailing him at the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation summit as the voice of the Global South and promising to rally behind India’s leadership at global forums.

Or it be the thunderous welcome he received from the Indian diaspora at the Quodos Bank Arena in Sydney, where PM Albanese hailed him as a “dear friend” and “the boss” who helped strengthen democracy even down under.

Equally praiseworthy was Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to highlight India’s rich culture and traditions during his abroad tour.

In Japan, this was seen in the unveiling of Mahatma Gandhi’s bust – close to the iconic Bomb Dome – in Hiroshima, his meetings with Japanese painter Hiroko Takayama (whose paintings reflect her deep connect with India) and renowned Japanese author, Hindi, and Punjabi linguist and Padma Shri awardee Tomio Mizokami.

In Papua New Guinea, Modi released a Tok Pisin translation of Tamil classic ‘Thirukkural’. And during his Australia visit, local authorities in Sydney announced that the Harris Park locality will be renamed “Little India” in recognition of the Indian diaspora’s immense contribution to the economy of the island continent.

India’s present-day greatness is also reflected in the Modi government’s numerous development initiatives and constant crackdown on corruption, the manner in which New Delhi is handling internal challenges such as violence-hit Manipur and the external ones from China and Pakistan, not to mention the fair, balanced and progressive rulings coming from the nation’s apex judicial body – the Supreme Court.

It is indeed a glorious time to be the oil in the wheels of the world’s largest democratic juggernaut – as an Indian civil servant.

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